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Wales

Sporting Cultures Clash

It is interesting when you have a family from a mixture of cultures. You ask yourself so many questions when your kids are young. How will they cope speaking two languages? Will they enjoy being bilingual? Could they possibly feel too different to those around them?

Continue reading “Sporting Cultures Clash”

Welsh Wedding

The most special day of the summer. The wedding day. Not mine, but that of my nephew. He found the right girl, she found the right boy.

After the stress of the buildup, the day finally comes. Family and friends, coming together in celebration. Beautiful surroundings, and a beautiful couple. A splash of rain can’t spoil this day.

But it is just the beginning. It’s been eight years since my special day, and we are not just a couple anymore. Now we are a team, working, playing and growing together.

I can’t wait to see what the future holds for my team and for the newlyweds. Every day is a new beginning, with a new path to follow.

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© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

The Beach – Barry Island

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There have been many fun days during this summer. Lots of interesting places, chances to both play and relax. But one day stands out, our trip to the Welsh seaside.

My family and I live in the Czech Republic which, if you don’t know, is a landlocked country. No sea or ocean. Lots of lakes, where many Czech people spend their summers, but it’s not quite the same.

My children love water and sand, so this day in Wales was a rare opportunity for them. And the weather gods were kind to us, for once. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. The weather, in Wales, is inconsistent. That’s the nicest way I can put it. So when the sun shines, you have to take advantage of it.

So, we decided on a visit to Barry Island. Located in South Wales, near the capital city of Cardiff, this is a famous summertime destination in Wales. It has lovely beaches, as well as a small fun park and everything that a British seaside town usually boasts. Penny arcades, fish and chips, ice cream and seagulls to try and steal your prized treats.

But, of course, the best thing about any family day out are the smiles on the children’s faces. The excitement you can feel from them, when they are doing something new or different to the normal. Swimming in the sea and building enormous sandcastles, with my wife’s help. Looking through rock pools, in search of aquatic life. Being a child at the beach, that was my childhood in Wales.

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For my kids, it is an occasional treat, but life in the Czech Republic has many compensations for the missing beaches, so they don’t miss out on much. And we crammed a lot into our few hours on Barry Island. They had the time of their lives, got some sun and filled their bellies. And even had time for a bit of rugby practice.

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© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

Summer So Far

So Summer finally began. Sun, heat and fun. It’s all been pretty hectic so far, and there is still more to come. Excellent!

I will be writing, in more detail, about my family’s trip to the UK. But, for now, our trip was divided into two parts. Portsmouth in England, and then Wales.

First of all I have to say that Portsmouth was awesome. Two nights was just not enough, even for the historical dockyard. You could not imagine a place so full of history, so much to see, so little time. Historical ships, museums, hands-on exhibits and even an action centre to use up some of the kids excess energy. The city itself is a mixture of the old and the new. Historic buildings, quite often pubs, for the old and a modern shopping and entertainment complex for the young and the young at heart.

And then on to Wales, home. We spent more time in Wales. My nephew got married, we went to the beach, and then it rained. But that was no big deal, we were tired and just happy to spend time with family. And the Welsh countryside was, as usual, just stunning. If you want lush green rolling hills then this is the place, but you need a bit of rain to produce this combination. So, if it rains while you are there, bad luck. All you can do is pray that it stops, and then what you see will have been worth it.

This was the major holiday of the summer, so there were plenty of special moments to speak of in more detail. I will get to that soon, for now these two pictures tell the story so far.

© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

Lush: A Welshism

The people of Wales speak a whole other language. I am not speaking about the 20% of the population who actually speak the Welsh language. I mean the rest who speak English, more commonly referred to as Wenglish. A strange combination of languages; people use Welsh words, which they often don’t really know the meaning of, as part of their everyday English.

But a dissection of Wenglish can wait for another day. All regions in Britain also use a healthy dose of regional slang, and Wales is no different. For example, when I hear the word “Lush” I do not think of thick, green grass rolling across the hills. I do not think of an extravagant meal in an ornately decorated restaurant. I think of two women standing in a clothes shop looking at a dress saying, “That’s lush that is!” 

You see, in Wales, lush simply means really, really nice. Nothing is nicer than if it is lush. Clothes can be lush, you can look lush, you can be lush. My new car is lush, my boyfriend is lush, this pizza is lush. It is simply the highest compliment you can pay to something. If you are ever in Wales, listen out, it won’t be long before you hear it, LUSH!

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Text © Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

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